Meet & Mingle with Comic Artists & Illustrators

Hi guys! Are you in the mood to make new friends? Then don’t forget to check out the Meet & Mingle with Comic Artists & Illustrators event organised by Six Degrees! If you can make it on 28th June, then do drop by because they’ll be inviting peeps from Epigram books, OIC, TCZ Studio and many other individuals & organizations from the industry. =)


Have fun and don’t forget to have your dinner before making your way to the event venue! There’ll be finger food, I think but I don’t think it’s enough for a full meal. Hehe. Oh and do RSVP at this link so they’ll know how many people to prepare for! XD


JADA: Private Digital Illustration/Painting Course

Hiya guys! If you’ve always wanted to pick up drawing and digital painting but:

  • have no time
  • find traditional arts school too expensive OR
  • are interested in learning but too shy to venture forth?

Then JADA, the private digital illustration/painting course may JUST be the answer to your prayers!

What is JADA:
JADA is simply a one-on-one private digital drawing/illustration/painting course which is suitable for people from all walks of life and ages. 3 reasons why it’s different from the rest of the art courses out there:

  1. The one-to-one sessions: the teacher will be able to focus fully on you
  2. Comfort of your own home: you get to practise creating art in familiar and comfortable surroundings
  3. Small scale: each class is conducted on a small scale, which means that you only need to make a small investment and hence minimise the expenses you might incur from art lessons.

Curious to know more about the course? Visit the Josh’s website at or email him at joshlabindustries[at]gmail[.]com for queries/commissions.


NLB exhibition: Singapore 24-Hour Comics Day Showcase

If you’re an aspiring mangaka or comics artist, you should check out this showcase by the Singapore 24-hour Comics Day team. Featuring 16 works created during the 24-hour Comics Day event, you will get to see exactly what gets done within a short time-frame of 24 hours! =D

Launch event: 
Where: Programme zone, Level 1, Jurong Regional Library
When: Sat, 30 Mar, 10-11am

18 March – 2 May, Jurong Regional Library (Skybridge, Level 3)
3 May – 18 June, Sengkang Public Library
19 June – 31 July, Serangoon Public Library

Don’t forget to RSVP your interest at:! Have fun.


Interview: Xiao Yan

There goes another week! Which means it’s time for yet another interview with an inspiring and AWESOME creator! =3

Today, we speak with Xiao Yan. To be frank, I only discovered her when Michelle from Epigram gave me a preview copy of her collaboration work with Dave Chua. It’s called “The Girl Under the Bed“, which is a supernatural tale set in Singapore during the Ghost Festival when all ghosts come out to play. Bwahaha. I love the story, and I love the illustration even more. Truly worth her salt, I gotta say! Hehe. Well, hope you enjoy the interview then!

Who is Xiao Yan?

I’m studying graphic design at the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) in Nanyang Technological University (NTU), ’cause they don’t have a major for illustration here and I was interested in both animation and a bit of graphic design… And it’s like, illustration is applicable to both. But anyway it’s nice that they teach painting and figure drawing in my school; and they welcome anybody to take these courses so that’s good enough for me.

What does being a comics artist mean to you?

I can’t really answer that ‘cause I just started as one. Before this project I was just drawing my own stuff, some school posters which I had a lot of fun with, and a few commissions now and then. Sonny Liew happened to teach my comic book class last semester. I showed him some work one day and I asked, ‘Could you give me any pointers for self publishing?’ and he said, ‘D’you wanna draw for a comic?’

Turns out that Epigram Books was trying to push for a graphic novel initiative, with local artists and writers showcasing Singapore-based fiction, and Sonny asked if I wanted to be involved. So I said, ‘Okay.’

I guess, being a comic book artist just means pushing out your own (or others’) stories and hope people like them. Or not. Or they don’t know how to feel about them. Any of the three responses is fine by me.

What is your creative process like?

In this book? It’s my first time teaming up with an established writer, so I really didn’t know what to expect? Before this I had only worked on my own self-initiated stories and pet projects. Anyway, Dave provided the dialogue and storyline and trusted me to work out how everything translates across the panels. I also helped him out with fleshing out the characters and some aspects of the plot.

I’ll do thumbnail sketches first and then I’ll run through my storyboarding with a friend, and he’ll point out what could be improved, or what to put in to make the pages more interesting, or if there’s any plotholes or weird jumps between panels and he’ll suggest solutions to iron them out. I think it’s good to have an outside party reviewing the story… in that sense, he’s sort of an unofficial editor for the book. I feel it is important to work with someone who is able to critique the work constructively while being aware of and contributive to the creators’ artistic intentions.

What is it like working with a writer like Dave Chua on “The Girl Under the Bed”?

Dave is cool, he’s not tyrannical with what I’d do with his story, and he’s open-minded to my visual interpretation of how it plays out.

Of the works you’ve done so far, what is your favourite and why?

I don’t really have a favourite, I’m forever wishing there’s so many things I could improve on my drawings, the more I look at the amazing stuff other people could do. But then again, to each their own.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about being a comics artist?

I came across an interview with American comic book artist Becky Cloonan (who drew Demo, American Virgin) sometime ago, and she said this that really drove the point home:

“Comics are hard work. Comics are relentless. Comics will break your heart. Comics are monetarily unsatisfying. Comics don’t offer much in terms of fortune and glory, but comics will give you complete freedom to tell the stories you want in ways unlike any other medium.”

To most people a career in comics seem really bleak unless you made it out there, but it’s a special kind of creative freedom you can enjoy, and for a price…

How can a comics artist appeal to a publisher like Epigram Books?

I can’t really answer this personally for myself, since I was recommended by Sonny. But I think most importantly before approaching any publisher you gotta have a solid body of works to show.

Xiao Yan’s work can be found on her website at Do keep an eye out for this very talented artist! =3

Interview: Drewscape

Christmas is almost upon us! Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I think I’ve said it before but time really passes too quickly for my comfort. Anyways, today we chat with Andrew Tan…otherwise or perhaps more popularly known as Drewscape in the artist community. Andrew was formerly an advertising art director but he now makes his name doing commercial illustrations and storyboard visuals.  He will also be launching a graphic novel through Epigram, a whimsical yet dark anthology about monsters, miracles and mayonnaise. It’ll be retailing at $20.22 (after taxes) so don’t forget to support local talent by buying his book! Hehe.

Enjoy his words of wisdom, folks!

Tell us about yourself. What got you started in comics?

I’ve always liked to draw since young and I would draw my own comedy Star Wars comics  in my primary school exercise books (All lost now). I studied mass communication and got into the advertising industry where I became an art director. After 8 years, I quit to become a freelance illustrator. All the while, I’ve always had stories in my head that I wanted to express in the comic form. I liked the comic form because it was cheaper and quicker than producing a film. And I didn’t have to compromise so much if I was working alone on it. So I’d keep drawing my own comics in my free time. I did a series of short comic strips while I was in advertising called Blur King. It’s about a blur boy based more or less on me (I was very blur.) And then progressed to do comics with a more mature style as my skills improved. Presently, I’m still a freelance illustrator but I create comics as a fun hobby.

What is one thing that the public doesn’t know about Drewscape?

My nickname was “blur king” when I was in primary school. Whenever I move to a new class every year, I’d never tell my new classmates what I was called. But I would always end up being called “blur king” eventually. I was a pretty good daydreamer. I’d like to think I still am.

Monsters, Miracles & Mayonnaise

How will you describe your art style?

It’s a mix and match of all the artists that I like. Like most kids, I grew up with spiderman and transformer comics. Then I was exposed to manga(Appleseed) which I really thought was fresh and exciting. I started watching Robotech when I was in secondary school and kept trying to perfect my manga style. Later on, when I started working, I was attracted to art books by Aya Takano, Amano, James Jean and Ashley Wood to name a few. I’d study these and try to figure out how they achieved their respective looks. If they used a certain pen, I’d find that pen and try it out. If they drew a nose in a certain way, I’d try it out too. More recently, I became more aware of french/European comics because they offered a very fresh look that was different from both American and Japanese comics (eg. Comics by Brecht Evens, Bastien Vives, Christian Cailleaux). So I began learning from those comics too. I’d try out their styles or techniques but I’d never copy their character designs. I’d always draw my own characters but in their styles. That was my way of improving and not end up drawing exactly like them. That’s how my style evolved. Most of these styles are very different from each other. But because I studied all of them and I like all of them, I find myself switching styles often.

What is your secret to getting published as a comics artist?

I’d say that my “secret” is not to focus on getting published. Focusing on that would just make me too self conscious to produce anything spontaneous and fun. I just focus on writing and creating good comics for my own entertainment and to show my friends. As I create each comic, I learn and get better at storytelling and drawing. And I think, like me, when you have a body of work that you can show in your website or blog, and the content is readable and has a good standard, publishers will ask to publish your work. But I feel the goal shouldn’t be a getting your own book published. It should be able just enjoying the art of creating comics and getting better at it.

Who is/was your biggest inspiration and why?

Because comics are a combination of art and story, I’ll give two.

Art-wise I’d have to say Ashley Wood because I found it hard to figure out his drawing techniques. I took a few years to figure out how he added and coloured those nice grungy grains in his drawings, what pens he used, how he managed to change a line colour in unusual ways. It wasn’t as straightforward like watercolour drawings. Just by trying to figure his techniques by trial and error, I learned a lot about mixing digital and natural media in an illustration.

Story-wise, I could say Haruki Murakami. I like his blend of reality mixed with strangeness.

What do you think makes you different from the other comic artists/illustrators?

The same thing that makes us all different from each other- My preference for certain art styles , my personality, my lifestyle, and my personal experiences growing up.

Want to know more about Andrew and his work? Then don’t forget to visit his blog at or! =)

Interview: Shawn Siow

Hi guys! It’s time for yet another Awesome People interview. Today, I chat with Shawn Siow, a local artist whose comic representation of himself reminds me nostalgically of the Mr Kiasu comics back in the good old days. XD

Shawn is the veteran of many a comics-related events like seminars, workshops and courses, lending his knowledge and experience accumulated from his long years of providing graphical services and solutions. He is also one of the creative minds behind Project Red, a comics series about a government-cultivated group of superheroes. =)

What is Shawn Siow like in real life?

The real life Shawn Siow is really not that much different than an average “boy” next door, stealing a glance to the pretty lady passing by, and gossiping with friends when time allows.

How did you discover that you were meant to be a comics artist?

It is a story of clichés, the young kid likes drawing, met a bunch of other young kids who likes drawing, continues his passion while other young kids gave up drawing, and the young kid becomes who he is today, which is not much difference, still drawing.

But there is one fundamental difference in the question; I never felt that I was meant to be a comic artist. To me, it is a matter of want, and the desire to be a comic artist. Everyone can draw, and many tell better stories than I can, but yet I have seen lots giving up pursuing their dreams due to numerous reasons. But if your desire is strong enough, none of these reasons should be good enough to stop you.

What factors do you think are essential to being a successful comics artist?

You’ll need a certain appeal in your art style, good story telling, a whole lot of exposure, and most importantly, perseverance. Being a comic artist can be a very tough job, especially locally. As we do not yet have an industry, means that there are many things you have to do it yourself. Comics production is a team’s effort, but locally you may have to produce the whole book by yourself, to work while you draw until the title kicks off, doing your own marketing, or even everything mentioned above. Without perseverance, this will be the biggest hurdle to overcome.

Who do you think are your biggest supporters and why?

My supporters are pretty spread out. Independent artist really supports each other locally, because they understand how difficult it is, and how much effort is needed to continue pursuing their work of interest. And through my experience, foreigners seem to be more open and willing to try my work of creation. They respect the effort you’ve given and feel that artist is worthy of the support. And not to mention there’s a bunch of local readers who always support local production hoping to see us having our own industry in the future.

In your opinion, what do you think is lacking in today’s young artists?

The passion and perseverance, Singaporean lifestyle can be pretty hectic and fast paced. After a day of hard work, many would prefer to conduct leisure activities rather than doing something that will drain their mental away. They would give themselves reasons why they couldn’t begin, continue to procrastinate and wait for opportunities to knock on their doors, or giving up after one single failure. But if you are really passionate about it, these are not reasons at all to stop you from trying, and when you endure, there will be results, no matter how minuscule it is. So stop procrastinating and start acting, and persevere.

Shawn’s work can be found on his website at Or you can be his fan at One can never have too few fans! XD

Interview: Rhys Leong

Hi guys! Today’s post is a little late, but I bring you Rhys Leong who is the creative mind behind White Chans–two books about white rats who have a unique outlook on life and Singapore. =D

Hope you’ll enjoy his words of wisdom!

If you had to advertise yourself on a poster, what will you write on it?

Creator of White-chans the three white Singapore mice

Why and how did you get started in comics?

I’ve been drawing comics since I joined the LianHe Zaobao’s Comics Fastfood team as one of the student comic strip artist. Reading and drawing comics has always been my passion since young, evident from all the doodles all over my textbooks!

How will you describe your personal artistic style?

I graduated from Engineering and don’t really have an Arts background, so I won’t say I draw very well. So I know my limits, that I can’t draw DC or Marvel kind of comics, but at the same time, I do know how to make people enjoy laughing at my simple single panel or four-panel comic strips.

Where do you get your ideas from?

While my comics may be simple to draw, like the White-chans, how difficult can it be to draw three white mice? But it is not easy to come up with ideas that can actually make people laugh. In a Batman comics book, you can draw a few pages just of Batman jumping from one building to another then punching some bad guys. But in my White-chans comic strips, I have to make my readers laugh within four panels. I guess being observant helps a lot. And also letting my mind run wild all the time.

What is your most successful marketing strategy that got people to pay attention to your work?

Same as the U.S. Presidential Election. Social Media. I just promote like hell on my blogs, on the White-chans Facebook page, and on Twitter. And then cross all my fingers.

How should an amateur artist go about gaining exposure for his/her work?

I’m still new in launching an ebook, with only two launched to date. So I’m not sure I’m the best person to advise on this. But I guess drawing more and posting more on the blogs help!


White-Chan Living in Singapore is currently on sale at Kobo, an e-book platform. You can also visit Rhys’ blog to catch up on the latest news! 

Interview: Travis Low

Hiya guys! Were you good during my absence? Well, I was away in Taiwan for a trip and boy, was it fun! In one of my adventures, I actually stumbled into a shop that sold yaoi and hentai manga. And porn. =x

In fact, other than the shopkeepers, I was the only female around. Haha. Okie, anyways…today our awesome guest is Travis Low, the dude behind Funics. I’m sure our local comics artist will know him very well. In fact, he is the one organising the Comics Star Awards. =)

So let’s read on to see what kind of advice he has for you aspiring comic artists then!

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into comics in the first place?

I start to read and doodle comic since young. When I was 14, I start trying to send my comic to the Chinese newspaper, Lianhe Zaobao and the takes about a year for my first comic to appear in the newspaper (and it takes another year for the second comic to get published in newspaper.)

At the age of 16, I joined 联合学生通讯员 Lianhe Xuesheng student correspondents and switched to their Student comic club, Comix Fastfood漫画快餐 later. During the days in Comix Fastfood, I get to know many local comic artists and started to get involve in producing comics with a themes for newspaper too. I’ve also become Zaobao’s comic columnist in the later part. I was in Comix Fastfood for 14 years before I left the club officially.

Why did you choose to expand into China?

China has a big market with more opportunities and lower cost. Most importantly, it is a young and upcoming market. In contrast, cost in Singapore is very high, and the market size is smaller and diverse. If I continue to stay in Singapore, I’ll see myself earning a living as a comic course operator and providing illustrations and comics services for commercials, while doing comic in an “interest” basis, but that is not what I want. I wanted to produce original comics and learn the professional ways to market it.

You have done so many things from being the Founding Chairman of Nanyang Academy of Arts to organising events like the ComixJam 24 hours Comic Competition in 2005. What inspired you to take such an active role in promoting comics and art?

We have not yet establish a comic industry, there are so many things we can do. I hope to see that one day we’ll have a comic industry in Singapore, local creators can go into professional field make a living out of it and local talents & creations are able to stand side by side with comics and creators of any other countries. So whenever there is an opportunity, I’ll try my best to do something that I feel it’ll do good to our local comics scene.

Last year, I started the Association of Comics & Creative Industry Exchange, Singapore whose main aim is to establish a network of local comics and creative talents and to help promote and showcase their works and talent locally and globally. I am more familiar with the great China market, so there is a part I can play in bringing good local comics to other markets. For example, I’ve got a local comic《朝九晚五》by 无语 to get published in a China comic magazine 《幽默大师》 starting from this January. And I’ve also imported the Comics Star Awards星漫奖 to Singapore. Comics Star Awards is organised by Tencent, one of the largest web portal in China. They have a structured platform and scheme to groom wannabe into a professional and they are willing to give Singapore creator the equal opportunity. So I help them to bring it here.

In your POV, how should a writer or comics artist market themselves in order to be successful?

The best way is still to make your creation speaks for you. In my POV, when someone needs to market himself, he is providing a service. If you have a product(creation), you market your product. For creator, you will success when your creations are well received by the market.

What is the best advice someone has given you as a comics creator?

The best advice I had is from Mr Terence Choi, founder of Malaysia Gempak Starz. “做好的漫畫,只有不斷地畫畫畫畫畫畫…….作品不斷問巿.成績一定會出來的。一年基本要3至4本作品問巿,才可能集人氣、集讀者群。” The only way to produce good comic is to keep creating and get them published. One need to publish at least 3 to 4 books in order to get yourself known and build your readership base. This is fundamental, we know it but not many of us are practicing it.

The 1st Singapore comic character that made it into MMS and mobile comic in China

Most of us wanted to be a professional comic artist, but don’t draw that much because they treat it as a hobby. Some are productive but they have problems getting their work published. Some published their work, but when the sales is no that good, they stop drawing. So I think if you are serious in becoming a professional, Terence advice will be useful.

Is there anyone (writer or comics creator) that you think I should interview? =)

I’d like to recommend the secretary of our association, Rhys Leong, to you. She was once a comic columnist but stop drawing for many years. Recently she started to pick up drawing and created 100 comic strips in 3 months time and published it to ebook, available for android, kindle and IOS. I think she is one of the pioneer in local comic scene who create specially for e-platform. P/S: and to create and produce 100 comic strips after work is not easy, but not impossible.


Travis Low (Comic Creator) is the multi-talented comics artist who has achieved many a title under his belt. He’s the:

  • Managing Director of Funics (Singapore) Pte. Ltd and Funics Creative (China) Co. Ltd
  • Founding Chairman of NanYang Academy of Fine Arts, Character Design Club
  • Adviser of Taiwan Comic & Animation Culture and Creative Industry of International Development Exchange Association
  • Mentor for Noise Singapore, Apprenticeship Programme 2007
  • Organiser of Character Design Carnival 2005 and ComixJam 24Hrs Comic Competition 2005 & 2007

Impressive, right? Heh.

Interview: Cheeming Boey

Good day, everyone. How quickly time has passed! Will you believe that it’s nearly the end of October already?! It’s like I’ve barely gotten used to September before October decides to roll around and give me a shock. =.=

Well, I’ve been busy with my freelance writing but no worries, today I am still going to do my best to entertain you with my awesome people series. =D Today’s guest will be, as previously mentioned, Cheeming Boey~!

Commonly known as Boey, this very talented Malaysian artist has a dry sense of humour that reflects brilliantly in everything he does. From his styrofoam art  for which he is best known for to his book of cartoons “When I was a Kid”.  In fact if you visit his Facebook page, you’ll find this rather droll description of himself:

boey is a malaysian animator/artist/author best known for his art on foam cups. he wears V-necks and he is also handsome (subjective)

Cute, right? And yes, Boey. I’m sure you have plenty of female admirers, no need to be so modest! LOL. Ok, enough talk. On to the interview!

In your opinion, what will set an artist apart from the rest of his peers?

Marketing. if u market yourself well, even stick figures can be YOUR style.

I would say, “think different”, but then it would be exactly what apple said, and I may get sued.

You first started out studying Advertising in university, what made you switch to computer animation instead?

Understanding that it wasn’t just a one man job. I thought when I watched Beauty and the Beast, that one guy did it all. The amount of work he did, turned me off.

You were the lead animator and game designer for Blizzard Entertainment where you worked on games like World of Warcraft and Diablo II, how is it different from creating cartoons?

Completely different. One takes forever to tell a story, the other, in a few hours. I prefer cartooning and I also work for myself. No more corporate ladders to climb. Sweet.

Your cartoon style seems to be vastly different from your other work like the styrofoam art, why the difference?

Because I can. because if I had a style, it would limit my audience who loves other styles of art. Art as a career is hard enough. Why limit your audience.

What inspires you the most in your artwork?

Daily life. The chance that i may draw something much better every time I start on a new piece, inspires me.

Knowing what you do now, how will you encourage or advise your younger and inexperienced self as an artist?

Failing math isn’t the end of the world. Quit crying, and go get some exercise you fat ass.

Ya. Exactly that.
Love Boey’s sense of humour? Then proceed to his website at for a heavier dosage of humour and witty observations of life. And if you still can’t get enough of him, buy his book ‘When I was a kid” here. Oh, and he’s holding an open call for girlfriends. XD

Interview: Lisa Lee (Fashion Artist)

Hi guys! Today’s awesome guest is going to be Lisa Lee, the fashion artist behind fashion icon “LIselle“. I met her at the STGCC where I bought a few lovely postcards from her. I’ve interviewed all manner of comic artists and writers but this is the first time I’ve met a fashion artist. XD

You can tell that she has quite the entrepreneur streak in her by the way she has successfully marketed her designs through fashion platforms like merchandising and licensing. So read on if you want to attain commercial success for your own art too! ^_^

Tell us about your journey as a fashion artist. How did you evolve from being an artist to a savvy entrepreneur?

It was back then Lisa Lee3 years ago, after my completion of my studies in UK, I started to venture back to M’sia to start up my fashion brand career, Liselle. Liselle is a feminine fashion character I depicted while I was studying in UK. From the surrounding and sentimental atmosphere in UK, I depicted Liselle and her lifestyle around her. During my exposure of Liselle, it started to caught attention from my professors and also others collaboration partners in UK.

And slowly these has led me to more opportunities of career development of Liselle and eventually turning her into a substantial fashion art brand. Through the process of developing and managing Liselle, I began to being exposed to many industrial professionals that has been there to guide and also influence in a way of how I should carry a great work with me. There I met a lot of different professionals, and involving with projects and events that has eventually engaged me to learn how the real industry is all about.

Why did you decide to become a fashion artist?

I decide to become a fashion artist because ever since young, my mom has put me on to many beautiful clothes, and I was always being curious how I can actually express my thoughts and feeling deep inside me of a clothing or dress. So I guess these nature of being a fashion artist eventually began a root to me.

ImageWhere did you get your inspiration for Liselle from?

I depicted Liselle when I was in UK, therefore, it can be observe my inspiration truly derive from the atmosphere and surrounding that has been influencing my artwork of Liselle.The coming years, I will travel to Vienna and Paris to continue my second series as again, a great atmosphere is good for originality.

What made you decide to brand Liselle as a viable marketing tool?

I still remember how my professor used to tell me “What do you want to do with that beautiful artwork of yours,..think again.”There’s when I realized, to express a good artwork needed more than just plain depicting it. There’s a long journey I see in front. Today, Liselle artwork is for licensing business, Liselle is a platform for fashion event and show and also for merchandising product application.


What are some challenges that you met while developing Liselle?

People. In Malaysia, it’s always a challenge when you start to do something people never really tried. But my greatest challenge is how I continuously believe and influence people around me that a fashion artist can be more than that if you believe in what you are creating. From a fashion artist to organizing, managing, event planning and communication,-it’s all a package if you want to do something real to you. And now, I have established my own company “Lisa Lee Creative” as a creative platform for me and Liselle.Lisa Lee Creative is a design company for me to run my design and creative business to corporate clients, manage and developing Liselle as my in house brand and also providing fashion workshops.

What are some of the most memorable moments you’ve experienced on your journey as a fashion artist?

Being really daring to challenge myself to make an event or idea come true. Many people might think I have experience in business or experiencing in managing an event as often you see me out there. But honestly and truthfully, everything is a first time. Initially, I do hesitate and scared deep down but I know if I don’t try, there’s no opportunity at all. There’s when I believe we do not need to do something with experience. Just do it if you want to, but you got to believe and find solutions. There’s where my tagline of Liselle came about –“Dare to Dream, Dare to Shine”.

What is the one golden advice that artists should remember if they want to establish themselves as professionals or make a career out of their art?

“Dare to Dream, Dare to Shine”



You can visit Lisa’s work at her office and showroom at: 

B-3-18, BBT One, Lebuh Batu Nilam 2, Bandar Bukit Tinggi, 41200, Klang, Malaysia.


Enquiries: |